Jerry Brown backs fellow Democrat Gavin Newsom for California governor

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SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown said while he's accomplished "a hell of a lot" in eight years, there are plenty of problems left for Gavin Newsom.

"I guarantee you there's four years of work for a very creative, energetic guy," Brown said Wednesday as he came off the sidelines in the race to replace him and threw his full-throated support to the Democratic lieutenant governor.

The pair appeared together at a unity rally featuring Democratic candidates for statewide office, speaking to a crowd consisting primarily of Democratic lawmakers and their aides over the lunch hour in Sacramento.

It was an unsurprising passing of the torch after Newsom was the only Democrat to advance to the November election in last week's primary. Brown avoided anointing a preferred successor in a crowded primary field that included four experienced Democrats. Newsom will face Republican John Cox, a wealthy business owner and investor from the San Diego area, in the Nov. 6 election

"There's a time for an old guy and there's a time for a young guy," Brown told a cheering crowd outside the state Democratic headquarters in Sacramento. "There's a time (for a guy) with a no hair on the top of your head, there's a time for a guy with really nice hair on the top of his head. I was the right man at the right time. Right now Gavin Newsom is the right man at the right time."

Newsom praised Brown for steering California through the Great Recession, which decimated the state's finances and left many unemployed.

"I couldn't be more proud of this state led by Democrats. And it's because of our progressive policies, not despite those progressive policies, that we've enjoyed that kind of economic growth."

Cox, in a statement, said Californians don't need an "extension of the failed policies that have driven hundreds of thousands to flee to other states."

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